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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 06/06/2008

Heat and Power Outages: A Deadly Combination

*Excessive Heat Watch Saturday morning through Monday afternoon*

Extreme heat kills hundreds of people in an average year -- more than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined according to NOAA. The best (and most obvious) way to prevent heat-related illness and/or death is to spend time in an air-conditioned environment. But doing that is a problem during power outages.

With many thousands of residents in the metro area still without power and near-record heat forecast this weekend, it could leave a lot of folks vulnerable to heat-related health problems unless power is quickly restored. To make matters worse, our first heat wave of the season follows a cool May so we are not yet acclimatized to hot weather. Studies demonstrate many more people die during the first heat wave of the season compared to heat waves that follow.

If you don't have power, it's important to stay hydrated and spend some time in an air-conditioned environment. Go to a movie or a mall during the heat of the afternoon. If the District activates its heat emergency plan, it will open cooling centers. Check on loved ones to be sure they have ways to stay cool during the upcoming heat wave. Older adults (especially those living alone), the homeless, and the very young are most vulnerable to the effects of heat.

Resources: Tips to Stay Cool from the CDC | EPA on Extreme Heat

Washington Post: Area Works to Recover From Storm Damage

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 06/06/2008

Categories:  Extreme Heat

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